My Faves: Rome Edition

March 16, 2017

in Europe, Italy, Spring 2017, Stephanie Qadir

Despite my last blog post detailing all the delicious meals I’ve eaten during the past six weeks in Rome, I’d like to emphasize the fact that there is actually more to do in Rome than just eat (although that’s a past time in itself, one could argue.)  Of all the amazing things there are to do in Rome, and I’m sure I haven’t even done half, the following is a list of my favorite things to experience in The Eternal City that I’ve encountered so far:

Monuments

Duh, I know.  Rome is a city with monuments literally dropped in the middle of it; the amount of times I’ve been out and about running an errand and accidentally ran into a historic, crumbling building is more than I can count on one hand.  My first stop in Rome was obviously to the Trevi Fountain, with its gorgeous blue water and statues made of white marble.  There is absolutely no shame in taking a basic Boomerang video.  Trust me, everyone else is doing it.  After taking a few Insta-worthy pics, there’s a church across the street where you can enjoy a slice of pizza on the front steps and bask in the Trevi’s glory.

Being basic never hurt anyone.

 

If you’ve seen the movie Gladiator, whether for the historical content or for Russell Crowe, you probably want to check out the Colosseum.  Admission into the Colosseum, and most other government-funded museums, is free the first Sunday of every month.  Beware of the men selling selfie sticks near here and other monuments-they’re quite aggressive.

Finally, the Spanish Steps and the general area it’s located in is a great place to walk around and hang out.  Hike to the top for a great view of the buzzing city, then head down to a great shopping atmosphere and lively crowd.

Piazzas

Rome has hundreds of piazzas that are filled with people throughout the day, and that are especially fun at night.  The word piazza literally means square, and it’s a huge open space, usually accented with fountains and statues, where you can sit at an outside table and enjoy a meal or just walk around; they’re a quintessential part of Rome and are unique to the country of Italy.  You can also find many street performers in any given piazza.  One of my favorites is Piazza Navona, a historic piazza that’s thousands of years old. It has a ton of benches where you can sit and enjoy the beautiful fountains, and there’s usually a Michael Jackson impersonator moonwalking around.

Piazza Venezia, located at the last stop of the 8 tram line, is at the center of Rome.  You can easily walk less than 15 minutes to most historical sites including the Roman Forum and the Pantheon.  It’s a great area to go sightseeing and people watching, and it’s close to the famous Via del Corso shopping street.

Shopping

My favorite street in Rome so far is the Via del Corso, home to beautiful shops ranging from well-known name brands to authentic Italian goods stores.  One of the best stores, which I discovered in the U.S. is Brandy Melville.  Italy is the birthplace of Brandy Melville, although you’d never guess by the name.  It’s why there’s so many Brandy stores in just Rome, and I’ve made it my mission to go to all of them.  In terms of makeup, I’ve been converted to products from KIKO Milano, a cosmetics store founded in Milan with multiple locations in Europe (and only a handful in the US, sadly).  KIKO’s products are a fraction of the price of Sephora’s and are in all honesty, just as good.  So far, I’ve purchased a lip stain, lipstick, and lip gloss, which last all night. The color variety that KIKO has for its products is also amazing, and you can try on any product that you want.

Frigidarium

Although I promised I’d talk about more than just food, last but certainly not least is a genuinely life-changing gelateria in Rome called Frigidarium.  One could compare delving into a frozen cup of sweet, creamy Frigidarium goodness to a holy experience.  I’ve had many cones of gelato over the past few months in Rome, and I can truly say that Frigidarium hands down has the best gelato of all other gelaterias.  Many friends have lamented that Frigidarium has “ruined” all other gelato for them.

The flavors are unique and completely homemade; their self-titled Frigidarium flavor tastes like cake batter and has a chocolate cookie stuck on top.  I’m also a fan of the Crema Fiorentina, which tastes like Nutella swirled in sweet cream.  The Spagnola flavor is sweet cream with ribbons of mixed berry sauce if you’re looking for something more on the fruity side.

The best part is that you can get your gelato covered in dark or white chocolate at no extra cost, which in my opinion makes literally anything 1000x better.  You can also get fresh whipped cream instead, if you’re one of those people that just doesn’t like chocolate (apparently, they exist.)  It’s relatively cheap as well-you can get a medium waffle cone dipped in chocolate for €3.  If you’re only in Rome for a small period of time, be sure to make a pit stop at Frigidarium.

Although I’m sure I’ll be updating this list as my time in Rome passes, for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed my favorite places and things to do in Rome for at the moment.  I can’t wait to find even more!

-Stephanie

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